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Old 09-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Stop Low Battery Situation in Toads (maybe)

I am about to venture into Toad towing. I keep seeing threads about dead or low batteries, pulling fuses, etc..

I have two thoughts on this, quite possibly brain fizzles, but thoughts.

#1
Why not connect from the MH chassis battery a positive and negative wire to the Toad battery. This parallel system would keep the Toad charged.

#2
Alternate would be run a 110V extension cord from a source in the MH (ideally from a connection to the invertor) to a small battery charger at the rear of the MH or under the hood of the Toad.

Okay, I'm braced flame me.
I actually did a variation of #2 to my bass boat charger via an inverter in my pick-up so it would recharge the trolling motor batteries on the trip home.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:52 AM   #2
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Many people connect the hot wire from the coach's battery to the toads positive as you suggest with good outcome. I decided to do that using a professional RV electrician and he did not like it as there was something about it that concerned him. (wish I could remember what that concern was) However he felt that removing the trickle charger from the battery pack of a trailer with surge brakes and hard wiring it to the toads battery would be better. That is what I did and it has taken dead batteries on the Toad out of my routine.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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Power Pack

Several folks (me included) power the toad braking system from one of these:

Comes in handy for charging cellphones too!
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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I connected chassis batteries (in rear of RV) to toad battery using center conductor of 6 pin Blue Ox coiled cable. Near each battery I installed a 30 amp auto resetting circuit breaker to protect the wiring. Since both batteries are charged, there is little difference in state of charge and minimum current flow. When starting the MH engine, when a larger current difference might happen, the circuit breakers protect from excessive current flow. MH alternator maintains toad battery when traveling. I also made sure the cable's ground terminal is connected in both vehicles. No issues after 8 thousand miles of towing.

The use of inverter, 120 v charger, battery charger, seems like a very complicated, inefficient system. (changing 12 DCv to 120 ACv then back to 12 DCvA) A charged battery requires little energy from the alternator to maintain it, the draw of the portable braking system is easily replaced by the hook up to the MH.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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TOAD-CHARGE Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer

I use one of these gizmos, works great cost more than DYI but I like what I have.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
I connected chassis batteries (in rear of RV) to toad battery using center conductor of 6 pin Blue Ox coiled cable. Near each battery I installed a 30 amp auto resetting circuit breaker to protect the wiring. Since both batteries are charged, there is little difference in state of charge and minimum current flow. When starting the MH engine, when a larger current difference might happen, the circuit breakers protect from excessive current flow. MH alternator maintains toad battery when traveling. I also made sure the cable's ground terminal is connected in both vehicles. No issues after 8 thousand miles of towing.
i did the same thing except the fuses being 8a each. i measured with an ammeter that the highest current from rv to toad is less than 1a. 6kmi of traveling proves it works.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:48 PM   #7
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Amazing with all these fixes available, all the people having dead batteries, pulling fuses etc..
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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Been using your #1 solution for 10 years without a problem. One 10ga wire and a 30A fuse on the toad battery is all you need. My coach 7 pin plug is already fuse protected.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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For those who have tied the toad and chassis battery together with auto reseting breakers-

Do you have experience specifically with the BlueOx Patriot braking system powered from your toads battery ?

I have this breaking system powered direct from the RV coach battery thru the 6 wire blue coiled cable with the following problem;
I power up and setup the toad break system first and then upon starting the motorhome the voltage temporarly drops below normal level causing the breaking system to error out requiring a break re-setup. I'm curious if this would happen with your system as well. So I have since switched to using the toad battery which only lasts for 2 days at best.

I am considering doing what you folks have done but feel adding one of the hi amp diodes to restrict back draw may be required to allow setting up the brake before starting the RV. What say you....
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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I think connecting through the toad battery would maintain voltage when starting MH causes voltage drop in chassis system. I don't see the need for the diode because if current tried to flow back to the MH when starting, it will be limited by the circuit breaker before it gets excessive. As soon as MH starts, (my Cummins always hits in less than one engine revolution) the alternator starts charging chassis batteries and the toad battery, although since it wasn't used for starting, it's charge needs are minimum.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:15 PM   #11
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Thanks for your reply but unfortunately I am looking for actual experience and not thoughts in this case as I would not like to purchase the diode if not necessary. I understand fully what you are saying but not sure if the breaker would kick out fast enough (or the added length of wire from the chassis battery) to keep the brake out of low battery faulting. my isc 8.3 takes about 3 revs to fire.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #12
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I don't have a Blue Ox system, I have a Roadmaster 9300 portable brake system. It is similar to a Brake Buddy, it requires a 15 amp power source, so I think I adequately test the recharging abilities of my system. What is the low voltage threshold of the Blue Ox system? If not in your manual, call Blue Ox and tell them the problem. I guess I'd hook up the charging wire as I described and see if it triggers the Blue Ox brake system before buying a $$ diode. I really think the CB works to prevent large current draw from MH start, but try it and see.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brockx View Post
I am about to venture into Toad towing. I keep seeing threads about dead or low batteries, pulling fuses, etc...
Of all the problems that people have described in this forum, this is probably the least necessary and most easily avoided. This simply doesn't have to be a problem. When prepping the MH tow setup, you install (or have installed) a charge line through the MH umbilical. End of problem. To me, this is a no-brainer.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #14
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On the BlueOx Patriot (original version) when the voltage goes "below 10v (unfiltered reading)" it errors out the brake with code 4.

Yes I have a 12v 10ga fused(run) line feeding my 12ga blue Ox coiled umbilical 12v line which feeds the brake directly with 12ga wire by using a separate cig lighter fused outlet inside the toad (and is not connected the toad battery)

Yes I have a problem if I set up the brake before starting the RV. As the voltage drops and errors the brake.

Because I have installed the toad system myself I just want to have the simplest least cost system that allows setting up the brake before starting the RV without worries of draining the toad battery. If the BlueOx brake had a feed capacitor all would be fine as it runs an electric actuator (with it's own battery backup) at around 3amps max when pushing so its a low power user and will easily go 1 day from my separate uncharged toad battery when powered that way.

I do plan to rewire and connect the chassis/toad batteries just wondering if others with my system (and brake) have required a diode .

Thanks for all the comments so far. I can be stubborn sometimes but am definitely not a no brainer.
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